Headbutt from horse cures man’s blindness

NEW YORK - 82-year-old soldier had been blinded in one eye after a shrapnel injury in World War II

An old soldier blinded in one eye in World War II has had his sight restored — by a racehorse. Don Karkos, 82, was headbutted by the horse, named My Buddy Chimo, and the animal did what doctors have failed to do for six decades.

Don lost the vision in his right eye after shrapnel gashed his forehead in an explosion aboard a tanker in 1942. But the paddock security guard got it back after colliding with the horse at Monticello race track in New York. Don explained: “I was putting a collar around his chest and he whacked me real hard with his head. “It was totally out of character. He’s been a good horse, very wellmannered, then he did this.” The horse’s head hit Don in exactly the same spot as the shrapnel.

He said: “I was pretty shaken up, kind of dazed. Then, later that night, I started to get the vision back in my right eye. “It was unbelievable. I’ve been seeing doctors all my life and they’ve always told me nothing could be done.” His vision still isn’t perfect, but Don said he can now see about 15ft with his damaged eye.Experts said the blow may have knocked a dislocated lens in Don’s eye back into place. He said: “What happened is still a mystery to me. “But I do know I had got used to not seeing things and bumping into walls and I don’t do that anymore.”

Dr Douglas Lozzaro, chief of ophthalmology at Long Island College Hospital, said the blow could have knocked a dislocated lens into place. He said: “Doctors would have been very reluctant to do anything because of the strong possibility that there was also damage to the back of the eye. “But what could have happened here is the second trauma moved the lens again, and there was no damage to the eye, letting Mr Karkos see again.” on added: “I’m on very good terms with that horse now and he gets special care from me.

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